Saturday, April 29, 2006

A leisurely day

I have not had a day like today for a long time. I got to sleep in a bit before I started getting cell phone calls. Every so often, I get to do that every so often on a Saturday. I did get a phone call about a work problem, make a few in return, and then I got to do what I wanted.

Usually my weekends are spent either working, helping out other people, various activities, some sort of show, and the like. Today, I got a chance to mow the lawn as planned. It was a beautiful day for working outside. The temperature was in the sixties, there was a constant breeze, and it was sunny. I never even worked up a sweat while mowing.

After cutting the lawn, I got to take a nice shower to get all the dirt and grass out of my hair and off my corpulent self. I actually got to pick up a book, sit in my backyard swing, and read for a while. It has been so long since I have been able to be leisurely and just relax like that. I was able to have no concern for time. My cat, Fluffy, came to sit with me in the swing. I also got to grill steaks on the barbeque, watch a movie or two, spend time with the wife, and just plain do nothing if I wanted.

Unfortunately, old habits die hard. Knowing that we had a problem with one local origination cable channel today at work (we have been having issues for over a week and tech support has not solved them yet), on a whim, I checked in on the cable feeds for Durham and Fayetteville, besides the Raleigh zone. I noticed an issue with the Durham channel, rebooted the computer that controls that channel, and called tech support. Hey, a little extra time for my next time sheet.

Tomorrow, I plan on trimming the hedges and shrubs now that the azalea blossoms are gone. I like nicely trimmed hedges. I found that once in the spring and trimming once in the autumn keep the hedges looking nice enough for my liking. I also need to lay down some more lawn food.

Right now, I am relaxing in the living room and watching The Fantastic Four for the second time. We rented it on Time Warner Cable's On Demand. I watched it once with the wife and now we are rolling VHS tape to get our own copy. I usually wait until the movies play on HBO, Showtime, or other premium channel so that I don't have to pay for them. As a Time Warner employee, I get those channels free. I also get movie rentals and pay-per-views half off. Every once in a while, I like to spend a few dollars just because I feel like it, sit with the wife, and watch a movie we have been wanting to see together.

I remember the comic book and the cartoon from the sixties and again in the seventies.

I have liked Ioan Gruffudd in most movies and TV shows in which I have seen him. For some reason, I have always liked the story of Horation Hornblower, even though I have never read the C.S. Forester novels. Gruffudd starred in a series of made for TV movies a few years ago about a young Hornblower that aired on A&E. I enjoyed that series of movies. I also liked the 1951 Gregory Peck movie, Captain Horatio Hornblower. For some reason, I like the "old navy" genre films.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Tell the ACLU to "go pound sand"

Here is part of an article that I just read in "The Heresy".

Clayton won't fight ACLU

By MONICA CHEN, STAFF REPORTER

Clayton -- As Chatham County commissioners fume and the Raleigh City Council gets ready for a fight, Clayton leaders are planning to lay a minor dispute to rest.

In a letter to Mayor Jody McLeod on April 11, the American Civil Liberties Union urged McLeod and other Clayton leaders to stop using the name of Jesus Christ in meeting invocations. The ACLU also sent similar letters to Raleigh, Pittsboro and Chatham County officials.

On Thursday, McLeod said the town was drafting a reply in which it would pledge to abide by the ACLU's request.

----------

That is sufficient to get the point across of where the article is headed and for you to get the information necessary to comprehend the matter.

If I was mayor, I do believe that I would have an answer for the ACLU. It would go something like this:

Dear ACLU (to whomever it needs to be addressed)

I am in receipt of your letter dated April 11, 2006 urging myself and other town leaders to stop using the name of Jesus Christ in meeting invocations. My response is simply

Sincerely,

Troy LaPlante
Mayor of (insert town here)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Just one form of profanity. Others are just as bad, just not so obvious.

Here is an email conversation on an email list I run. It sure turned out differently than I originally figured it would.

------------

Original message:

I guess that this is no more profane than some of what I hear on TBN, just in different verbiage. Actually, at least this man is being straight forward about being profane rather than being hidden by a cloak of maliciousness. Do we take things like this as "never the less, Christ is preached"? Open for discussion.
WARNING: Contains a few words that may be objectionable to some. You were warned.

The video

------------

A response from a list member:

O-K----I saw it---now tell me your point.Are you saying that because TBN errors on some points that they are no better then this guy?Are you saying that using the name of Jesus is an excuse to say anything afterwards?I am truely at a loss----can you get back to me?

------------

My response:

>>>How do we expose religeon?Do we do it by exploiting its faults or by showing truth?<<<
Actually, by BOTH. One will certainly point to the other. Considering that you don't know me, my teachings, or methodology, then perhaps you have just done the very thing with which you started out your last email. Ironic.

I also sent another reply to the same email:

I thought that the point was pretty obvious. TBN does not error on just some points, it is a different gospel. Yes, I am saying that they are no better than the heretic in the video. No, I am not saying that invoking the name of Jesus excuses anything at all. This video was abominable, as is false doctrine. The majority of "ministries" on TBN (just an example) are just as profane in their heresy as the man in the video. It is just dressed in nicer clothing, so to speak, and using nicer language.

------------

And the reply that came back:

I dont know what to say dude.Your heading into some dangerous territory when you start passing judgement on ministries.Sure some are way off base and can be spotted a mile away.But then again none of us have perfect doctrine either.DAD responds to a broken and contrite heart most of the rest is just crap we do for ourselves.Can we really say that our crap smells better then others?I like you am a reformer.How do we expose religeon?Do we do it by exploiting its faults or by showing truth?Less sin doesnt make more Jesus but more Jesus makes for less sin.So ,sir, in short if this is how you do buisness then unsubscribe me.I see this stuff down at the local rescue mission.In the safety of my home I want to use this puter to give HIM glory.

------------

I wrote:

>>>I dont know what to say dude...I like you am a reformer...In the safety of my home<<<

One thing that stands out to me is the simple fact that you are on an email list with a lot of people who tend to operate in the prophetic, hence the list name. If you have been around, operated in, or understood what this entails, then you know that prophetic people tend to see things very "cut and dry" and rarely are into the "warm fuzzies" that permeates western Christendom today. They tend to be straight up, no bull, "forget Dale Carnegie because this is the truth of the matter".

You mention passing judgment. We are told to make judgments, and in more than one isolated verse. We are told to tell the discern between good and evil. We are told to even mention those who walk disorderly by name. In the list archives, you may even find some of our early discussions and teachings on the topic. If not, I can give you a web page where I even saved the discussion, having liked the discourse and teaching.

There is no "safety" in your home if you do not discern and invite most any teaching. AND if you are a reformer, then you will know everything I just said is truth. Oddly enough, when the subject of reformation comes up, people often look back to Luther. It seems to me that Luther nailed a bunch of writing (if I was sure that the plural of thesis was theses, I would have used that word) that dealt explicitly with error and the exposing of religion. Was he wrong? Did he think "that [his] crap smells better then others"?

Just food for thought. Dealing with issues that divide to the quick are not pleasant and are not for the squeamish.

------------

And his response:

The prophetic sir, is different in the new testiment compared to the old.In the new its for edification,comfort and exortation---1 cor 14 vs 3.In eph 4 vs 11 the prophets and others work for unity.Its plain to see that you are not informed on the differences between a prophet and a seer.Be very careful sir.Seers tend to be bitter and condemning thus chasing more people away from the gospel then they save from sinning.Also a prophet who does not take time to self examine is a loose canon.Its obvious you dont know me either nor my works but I am not going to get into a bragging contest with you.I will just stand on HIS word.Please unsubscribe me from your group.In the future I will pray that HE give you more then your asking for---blessings

------------

I then wrote:

I hear this same erroneous argument made often. It is just plain error that all prophecy (note the context of the verses you quote refer to prophecy, not people) is for is exhortation, edification, and comfort. Because a message may be perceived as "negative" it is dismissed as not being any of the three? That is the big lie that has been forced on the church. Does not a "negative" message exhort? What is exhortation? It is not being a cheerleader, it is imploring one to do something.

Yes, I am FULLY informed in the difference, having walked it for years. Your perspective concerning unity is a problem, as evidenced by what you just wrote. Sorry, but Jesus did NOT come to bring unity. He came to bring a sword. He came to divide. He said so himself. If you want to hang with the "touchy feely pillow prophet" crowd, that is your prerogative. Enjoy having your ears tickled.

As to your assertion that you will stand on "His word" in your angry retort, I would encourage you to do so. Just don't pick and choose what parts you will stand on and ignore others. See next paragraph for more. If is the goodness of God that brings men to repentance, but we are ALSO told to behold the goodness AND the severity of God. We are told to label false prophets. We are told to earnestly contend for the faith. If you wish to ignore those things, fine. That is your CHOICE. Those who choose to take the entire counsel are not anathema, as your comments seem to indicate.

As to your assertion "Seers tend to be bitter and condemning thus chasing more people away from the gospel then they save from sinning", I will only say the following. On this list, I am not talking to those who need to hear the gospel; they have already heard it. This is where the topic was discussed, not with "the world". Ergo, it is not an issue of whether anyone is "chasing more people away form the gospel". There is a difference, of which I am acutely aware. This is not a list for evangelism. If it were, it would bear a different name. Note, too, that the context of the scripture you referenced, 1 Cor. 14 speaks towards the gift of the Spirit that is prophecy, and does not speak to the ministry gift of the prophet. To take the 1 Cor. 14 and extrapolate it to the Eph 4 ministry gifts is simply a misunderstanding of the two. Yes, there is a difference. Note in the Eph. 4 citation that he gave SOME whereas in 1 Cor 12 (the same context as chapter 14) says that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to ALL men. The Eph. 4:8 "doma" is an actual gift that is given to the Body through other men and the I Cor 12 (the word gifts not in the original) spirituals are for everyone.

I believe fully that all should operate in the spirituals, as described in 1 Cor. They are not, however, the same as those specific doma gifts listed in Ephesians. Do not confuse the two. On the flip side, however, is the admonition that I have taught for years. Having a prophetic perspective means that you will see things that others do not necessarily see or know. That, however, does not excuse bad behavior. I have seen it too many times where people who give an occasional attempt to flow in the gifting of a prophet, usually to the detriment of those around him. I have also seen those who do flow in the prophetic doma gift choose to remain immature and often exhibit bad behavior with the excuse of the prophetic. One thing I do know is that those who truly have a doma anointing see things sharply, call things as they are, and know when to be gentle (or not) as the case may be.

You stated "Its obvious you dont know me either nor my works but I am not going to get into a bragging contest with you", to which I say the SAME. You don't know me, but you are all peeved over one topic, where I shared something for thought, you didn't get it, and did the very thing you said I did. Hhhhhmmm. You proceed to go off about not communicating the gospel properly, you accuse me of not knowing the difference between NT and OT prophets, you basically accused me of being a loose cannon lacking self examination, and falsely confine the definition of prophecy to a narrow descriptor (which modifies what it does, not what it is or its form. The form it takes may not be to your liking, yet it will still DO the very thing written. NOWHERE does it say that prophecy MUST do all three in order to be valid. That lie must be dispelled so that people will not fall into the trap of accepting false prophecies that tickle the ears.)

You are correct that I do not know you. All I know is the attitude and words you have thrown onto the list. The corollary is that you don't know me. Yet you have chosen the aforementioned criticisms and allegations.

------------

No further response yet. I take note that the original question that was posed has yet to be addressed, as are other key points in my emails. The question was:
Do we take things like this as "never the less, Christ is preached"? Open for discussion.

The Smithfield Heresy


There are a couple of reasons that I do not subscribe to "The Smithfield Herald". One is that they still owe my wife about $125 in back wages. When they pay us the money they still owe from over five years ago, I may just consider subscribing. Another reason that they are not my favorite newspaper is the ad rates they expect. I looked into placing a simple classified ad and was shocked at the amount of money they demanded. I didn't bother to place my ad with them. After all, I was giving something away in providing a public service, not advertising a multi million dollar business.

Also, I am a bit disappointed that I never read any letter to the editor that I send them in their paper. The letter to school board candidates on this blog was sent to "The Herald" (affectionately referred to as "The Heresy") and certainly was not on the opinion page Tuesday. They had little on that page. I picked up a copy just to see if the letter would be published. Remember that I don't subscribe, so I don't read every issue. Just the same, I have never seen anything that I have written in that paper. I give them daily, front page coverage on my regional web site, but get absolutely no consideration from them whatsoever. They have written about other regional web sites in their feature, "Selling Points" more than once, but write nothing about my site, even though they are aware of it. They got a press release notification when my site launched and even spam me twice a week with an email announcing that their web site has been updated with the latest news stories. None the less, no editorial letters, no web site coverage, no mention at all.

Every once in a great while, I get a telemarketer asking me to subscribe (not so much now as in times past. I assume because of the Do Not Call registry). My answer is always the same...when "The Herald" pays us the money they owe us, we may consider subscribing. Until then, forget it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Thoughts crossing my synapses prior to bed time

April is almost over. As much as I love the beginning of April, I really dislike its end. My dogwood blossoms are gone. The azaleas are wilted and almost gone. The lightly chilly mornings are replaced with hot weather. We can't leave the windows open at this point, since it is too hot outside for personal comfort.

It looks like I will be visiting my mom for Mothers' Day. She will be visiting a friend in South Carolina and wants me to come down to spend a weekend.

The book I am currently reading is "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. It has been a long time since I have just picked up a book and read more than the first chapter. I am notorious for reading several books at a time. I usually start one, read a while, put it down, read another, put it down, and cycle through them. This is the first book that is a non Christian title that I have picked up in several years. Quite honestly, I used to be a book reading fool about fifteen years ago. I was in the habit of reading regularly for many years. In the past three years or so, I got out of the habit. I started several books, many of which end up on the headboard. I have been more apt to read gun catalogs instead of books lately. There are a few titles that I have been wanting to read lately, so I finally decided to just do it. "Atlas Shrugged" is over 1000 pages and has loooooong chapters. I am most of the way through chapter 2 so far. Look up Ayn Rand sometime. "Atlas Shrugged" is the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club. If I find it so, I will write about it more.

I am finally getting my company vehicle fixed...again. The brakes have been squeeling horribly since October. The shop has worked on them three times including the full brake job in October. I keep getting told that the squeeling is normal, but I know better. The brake light also comes on often. That was also dismissed as no biggie. Another shop gave the car an alignment about a year ago. They put in a camber adjustment kit that rattled horribly and it was dismissed as nothing notable, but annoying. Also that an inferior part was replacing a factory part, so what can you do? Fix it correctly, I say, but they wouldn't. Now, the front end shakes and the front tires are worn down to baldness from a bad alignment.

The car is overdue for an oil change and the power steering whines quite a bit. I have an appointment with one of our company's vendors Wednesday morning. Hopefully this will remedy the problems, I won't screech to a stop, whine while turning, and shake while turning the wheel to the right a bit to stay in my lane.

So far, I have only heard from two school board candidates to whom I sent an email. One replied via email and another called me three times and we had a long discussion of the issues.

I have been looking into the possibility of obtaining a low power FM radio station license. I have been researching on the FCC web site, calling license holders in North Carolina, have a lead on different equipment with which to broadcast, and may even have some tower sections lined up. If licensed, I would be able to have a broadcast range of about 5.6 km or so. I started to look into this idea several years ago, but did not have the resources to be able to condider such an undertaking. I have acquired some pieces with which to start building a broadcast operation over the past few years. I have the knowledge and materials to be able program content on an automated system on a budget. The down side is that the FCC does everything on their own time frame, not on anyone else's. There is no guarantee of a license approval or a time in which they will accept applications. I do know that there are only 36 LPFM stations in NC, several of which in this immediate area are not even currently licensed and operational. According to the FCC web site, the closest licensee is in Fremont.

Open frequencies here are 98.9, 99.3, and 106.9 FM. I used the FCC web site to draw up a coverage map of what my station would cover, if things progress to the point of licensing.

If only there was tea to throw in a harbor nearby

Friday, April 21, 2006

A letter that I just sent

----- Original Message -----
From: Troy LaPlante
To: butlerhall@earthlink.net ; timtrainey@aol.com ; jcsb2006strickland@att.net ; lcstrickland02@att.net ; cabrannock@yahoo.com ; lbslandscaping@earthlink.net ; bkhale90@yahoo.com ; llmassll@earthlink.net ; fisforferguson@hotmail.com
Cc: rstewart@kenlynews.com
Sent: Friday, April 21, 2006 10:16 AM
Subject: Johnston School Board election


An open letter to all School Board candidates.

I have been watching the upcoming election with interest, since I have been more politically active these past few years. I have been reading voters' guides, web sites, and the newspapers I prefer. I have also noticed many of your campaign signs along the highways.

I would like to offer this commentary to each of you for which I could find an email address. I see a recurring theme in campaign signs, slogans, and positioning statements. I often read "for the children", "it's ALL for the kids", and similar sentiments. I am wondering when the Board of Education's primary focus stopped being to educate children and became ensuring the total welfare, comfort, and self esteem of those same children. For far too long, we have seen political agendas that have used the guise of being "for the children" in order to push their personal perspectives regardless of accountability or responsibility to those paying for the services.

I understand the need for slogans, sayings, and positioning statements. I have worked in the media and been around long enough to comprehend. However, my concern is that the job of educating children will take a lesser priority than making children feel comfortable, feel good about themselves, the building they sit in, the newness of the books they carry, and the beauty of the paint scheme in their schools.

When I was in school, we were put forty to a classroom, had no air conditioning, we were expected to actually learn, and the only "teaching assistants" were student teachers who were, for lack of a better term, interns. The primary focus was on educating the children, not on the feel good concept of taking care of the children. That is the job of parents, not the school system.

I would submit to you that it is not all about the children. It SHOULD BE all about educating the children. The government is not a parent nor should take that role. Not every decision should be made with the children in mind, as that is a mere emotional ploy to push an agenda. The decisions you will make as a School Board member should be based upon the desired result of having well educated children as well as due consideration for the taxpayers who pay for said education.

If private schools can be creative in their building programs, staffing requirements, and methods of instruction, then our public schools can, as well. Private schools often produce a better educated student for less money than that for which I and other tax payers are burdened to pay.

I understand the need for school expansion with an expanding population. However, I also understand that there is a great deal of wasteful and unwise spending, failed educational methods, and unnecessary administration in our school system. We give plenty of money to the school system, perhaps enough, perhaps not. Spend the money you are given wisely before demanding more. Run the business of educating children efficiently and perhaps you will be worthy of my vote. Remember, you are in the business of educating children, not in the business of child rearing.

For more commentary, I have and will be writing on my web site, www.troylaplante.com.

Thank you for your attention.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

They multiply, like rabbits

OK, so I did a bad thing. I will probably pay for this.

Different topic now. It looks like my personal arsenal is going to grow yet again. Someone who was introduced to my by a close friend, Dave Tuttle, has been wanting to sell me an AR-15 rifle. At first, I was told it was a Colt, but recently I found out it was a Bushmaster carbine. I have handled it and I am interested, but not to the point of forking over the asking price all at once and putting a bite in the budget or putting it on credit. I agreed to purchase, just with the ability to set aside a little here and a little there until I got the asking price money collected. That was agreed to.

Well, it seems that the man who is selling is in a crunch financially. Someone got access to his checking account and stole a few thousand dollars, wiping him out. He is now having to deal with identity theft ramifications, his bank, and now his mortgage, car payment, etc. I got a phone call from my friend, Dave that now would be a good time to buy and help him out.

I was not prepared to be able to fork over cash at this time, but I am arranging to lay my hands on some. It is not my preferred method, but he needs to pay his mortgage. I comprehend, and I am willing to assist.

When we talked today, I told him that I was able to scrape together about $75 less than he was originally asking if he needed immediate cash. He is trying to unload a lot of guns in order to make the payments. Well, he needs cash and wasn't willing to come down on price. I almost said, "Well, it sucks to be you. Good luck with the bills." Not wanting to offend, I agreed to work with him on it. Looks like I own a "Bushy".

I am going to have to stop helping out people with their bills soon and just concentrate on my own.

Has it really been that long since I wrote last?

I have been working long hours at the job these past few weeks. I have had two projects going on simultaneously and have about completed them. This has kept me rather busy, so I have taken no time to write here lately.

One thing that I encourage all people to do is to check out the voters guide for the upcoming primary election next month. The N&O has a section for candidate biographies.

I have been seeing campaign signs around the county as I go about my business. One sign bothers me. I believe that it is Butler Hall's sign that says "It's ALL about the kids". He is running for school board. No, sir, it is NOT all about the kids. It is about society having educated people. It is about taxpayers not being duped into an inferior education that we pay far more money for than we used to. It is about not squandering tax dollars to produce stupid children. It is about getting what we are paying for. It is about not allowing the government run school to become a nanny or babysitter but rather be an educator. It is about not indoctrinating children into socialist principles that have been failures everywhere they have been tried. It is about not allowing sin to be taught as normality in our schools. It is about being prudent with the money and responsibilities for which you are charged. It is about the benefit to the community of having an educated populace. It is certainly not "ALL about the kids". I am so tired of that mantra being used as an excuse to ram an agenda through. For that same reason, we got a lottery passed, have been putting up with "smaller class size" falsehoods, and burdened with high administrative costs that eat away at the quality and budgets we expect for education. I hate that irresponsible garbage.

Here is another example found in Larry Strickland's online profile: "If your campaign had a theme song, what would it be? “Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston. The song’s theme centers on the fact that children are our future." In the profile for NAALCP member Dorothy Johnson, I found this: "If your campaign had a theme song, what would it be? “Children are #1. Teach them, guide them, protect them along the way.”

Are we going to elect people to the Board of Education or the Board of Children? There is a difference. Please...enough already. It makes me want to puke.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Selma town council meeting


I again went to the Selma Town Council meeting tonight. They actually got out at a respectable hour compared to meetings previous. Mayor Hester did his best to play Robert Schuller and convince everyone in attendance that we should all only speak positive about Selma, not negative. Nice try, but I will continue to call them as I see them.

Some things that the council did that I agree with tonight:
1. Eliminate the deposit requirement for residential property owners/purchasers for utilities. Good. They are not the main problem with "no pays" anyway. It is ridiculous to require a $300+ deposit from them, anyway. They bought the house, they are most likely not going anywhere unless forclosed upon or death.
2. Renters are still going to pay a deposit. The deposit was raised by $100. I am not keen on the hike, but understand it. I do agree that renters are the major revenue loss when it comes to utility bill non payment. I just wish that the council would have the gonads to pass a resolution that renters must also have a "green card" if they are from out of the country in order to get utility service.
3. The town will be working towards a two billing cycle system for utility billing. Fine. Half the town on one cycle, the other on another. That will work.
4. The council did not pass a resolution to amend the 401(k) employer contribution to non law enforcement employees from 5% to 1%. Hey, look, if we are even going to offer a 401(k) program, don't insult the employees by lowering a pittance of an existing contribution to just 1%. I know that the town must seek to save money. I don't believe that this is the place to do so. Treat your employees right and you will retain them for the long haul. It will cost more in the long run to replace turnover. The resolution will instead be reconsidered at a later time, during budget considerations.
5. Council meetings will now start at 7:00PM instead of 7:30. Good move. I guess that Mr. Hester will now have to get the big white signs with red lettering altered.
6. The town is looking into options such as hiring a private firm to do our code enforcement. If it is economically feasible, then I am all for it. It may not be so, but it is good to investigate such.

There were a lot of things regarding zoning, water projects,, annexations, etc. Most details are known by the council but not by the public. I have one suggestion: make the same packets of info available to interested citizens that all council members, the mayor, and press get. It should be public record. I would be glad to get out more details as well as put proclamations and other info on the web for PR.

Taxes

I have been looking at a few tax sites lately. One is the U.S. Census site that gives ranks to all 50 states in our taxes. The site says "States Ranked by Total Taxes and Per Capita Amount: 2005". The per capita tax rate must not be "total" and take into account state income tax, sales tax, property tax, and the like. North Carolina is listed in 25th place in per capita amount at $2,146.68. That just seems pretty low to me.

Another site that I have heard about a lot over the past several months is stopthegastaxhike.com Check out the site. North Carolina pays "through the nose" in gas taxes. Our system for determining tax rate sucks royally, as it is based upon automatic fluctuation that is determined by average price of fuel. Since we got hosed earlier in gas prices, our tax rate went up 15%, as I recall. Our gas prices are going up again, so we are going to get nailed again in gas tax rates. Here are some gas tax rates here in the southeast:
* North Carolina: 29.9 cents per gallon
* South Carolina: 16 cents per gallon
* Georgia: 7.5 cents per gallon
* Virginia: 17.5 cents per gallon

Pump gas, bend over, grab ankles.

I love this quote

This comes from an article about how the Montana Constitution Party is gaining strength. In NC, the CP is hard pressed to be able to even get on the ballot. That is because of the insane election laws in the state, which are the toughest in the nation. None the less, that is where my party membership is found. Click on the post title for the whole article.
-----------------
‘‘We don’t take one single vote from Republicans. They give them away,’’ he said. ‘‘The Constitution Party is here because the Republicans have left their principles. It is more important for them to have a majority in the Legislature than to stand to conservative principles.’’

Monday, April 10, 2006

Wish I was there

When I heard this morning that protests were planned across the country yet again about proposed immigration legislation, I was mildly annoyed. When I heard that one location planned was Smithfield, I really wished that I didn't have work obligations today. I would have bought a bull horn and staged a counter demonstration, even if only by myself. This issue is going to be the source of a lot of friction in this country and in this county in the not too distant future.

Here is the WMPM story:

Protesters March In Downtown Smithfield - Hispanic protesters returned to the streets of Smithfield for a third time on Monday, voicing their disapproval over immigration laws. Two weeks ago, many of the same protesters walked out of class at Smithfield-Selma High to march to the Johnston County Courthouse, where they held a brief demonstration. About 100 protesters were involved in Monday’s march along Market Street .

Friday, April 07, 2006

This one is for the wife

Lottery musings

I am no huge fan of the lottery, but I don't mind it so much, either. I don't have a problem with people gambling, drinking, or smoking, etc. It is between them and God. I know my limitations and freedom in Christ and abide as such. I am used to the concept of living in a state that has a lottery. For years, I would buy a lottery ticket on a trip to New England, where I lived in the state with the first in the nation lottery. So no big deal to me. I have also been known to have a cold beer once in a while. Not often or in excess in any way. That is my freedom in Christ rather than some legalistic dogma that many Christians peddle. Will I eventually throw a couple of bucks at the lottery? Probably. Will I spend heap big money on hopes of instant wealth? No way. If I go to Vegas or Atlantic City, would I throw some coinage in slot machines? Probably a few. So what?


PLEASE don't tell me that the N.C. Lottery is an "education lottery". I am so very tired of hearing about things "for the children" I could puke. It is a corrupt system passed by corrupt individuals who are personally profitting from its passage. I am equally amused by the people who protest vehemently, though I do believe that they have more validity than those who slyly passed the state's lottery.

I found the picture of a protester (above) and laughed. I thought someone else might enjoy it, as well.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

This pic exemplifies my frustration with the Republicans in Congress.

Upcoming election

It is hard to type with one arm holding a "baby" and using a few fingers to hit keys. My cat, Morris, is curled up like a baby and purring away.

I have never liked the idea of early voting for any election process. I find it unnecessarily accommodating to lazy citizens. (Morris just jumped down after the wife came through the door. Ah, to use two hands to type again!) If you know that you are going to be absent from the area on election day, then get an absentee ballot. If you can not make the time to vote, then you don't deserve to do so.

Early elections open things up to increased possibility of fraud as well as remove being very responsible with the act of voting. It also allows for those who would not normally bother to vote because of "inconvenience" to be able to cast a ballot. People with that sort of mindset don't deserve to vote.

Voter Registration Deadline Friday - If you haven’t registered to vote, the deadline to register for the May primary is this Friday, April 7. Starting next week, April 13, one-stop early voting begins for the primary elections. Johnston County Board of Elections Director Teresa Davis said early voting will take place Monday through Friday from 8am until 5pm and on Saturday, April 22nd and 29th from 9am until 1pm.

Monday, April 03, 2006

I am saddened for Jesse

It is always sad to see when a man or woman suffers from Alzheimer's. I have seen it before in family members and in visits to rest homes. It is something that I personally hope I never have to endure. People losing their identities, their memories, their congnitive abilities because of a cruel disease is indeed a sad thing to witness. I was doing my morning news read earlier and found this story. I find it especially sad that (in my opinion) one of the best representatives that North Carolina has ever had in the U.S. Senate is suffering from dimensia. I feel this way not just for him, but for others in his condition, as well. Family members often are left with the feeling of helplessness while watching their loved ones slip further into mental darkness. It about makes me weep.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Around the house

This weekend is a weekend off from work. I decided to take it easy, allow myself to sleep in, and tackle a few projects around the house. I finally painted the back door, which will allow us to be able to mount the new storm door we bought. I did the "lawn food" thing. I am surprised that the grass is still so brown in the front yard. Parts are getting long while others are still short. Wild onions are growing quite a bit more than in years past. Violets are still in the back yard. My azaleas and dogwoods are just starting to blossom. I love April in North Carolina. I hate May through October for temperatures, but I love spring time here.

I have been saying this for a LONG time